If I touch one of my opponent's pieces with one of my pieces, but do not touch it with my fingers, do I then have to take it?

This question was raised in a junior school when one player touched his opponent's piece deliberately with one of his pieces and was about to take it, but decided against before touching it with his fingers. A dispute arose and as the tutor I was asked whether the piece was deemed to have been touched. Not a bad question from 10 year olds, and I was unable to give a definitive answer. I said I would find out and hence my plea for help. I face them again on Friday and still feel on shaky ground. Help appreciated.


1 Answer 1


According to the FIDE Laws of Chess, this all depends on whether it was intentional or not (of course, here I'm assuming you play under a Federation that follows the FIDE rules, or very similar ones). Article 4: The act of moving the pieces stands as follows (article 4.2 is the adjusting rule):

4.3 Except as provided in Article 4.2, if the player having the move deliberately touches on the chessboard:

a. one or more of his own pieces, he must move the first piece touched which can be moved

b. one or more of his opponent’s pieces, he must capture the first piece touched which can be captured

c. one piece of each colour, he must capture the opponent’s piece with his piece or, if this is illegal, move or capture the first piece touched which can be moved or captured. If it is unclear, whether the player’s own piece or his opponent’s was touched first, the player’s own piece shall be considered to have been touched before his opponent’s.

If the move is not intentional (you drop your piece over an opponent's), then you don't have to take it. If it is intentional, it is certainly true that it is not specified if touching is with the fingers or the pieces, but as many players use both, I would say that both apply as touching.

  • 1
    My federation ( Serbia ) follows FIDE rules. Touching the opponent's piece with your piece is strictly unallowed. It did happen to my opponent a few days before. Arbiter came and said he has to take my piece than he did resign. Feb 10, 2020 at 19:10

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